At long last! Demon Dog (Mojo Mysteries Book 1) is up for sale! Woooo!! Greg and Adrian are so special to me. I love them, and I’m excited for them to have their own series with Mojo Mysteries. You can pick up the book directly from Samhain Publishing, from Amazon, or from various other online sites. The Samhain site also has chapter one up as an excerpt. There’s a different excerpt up on my website. Read on for YET ANOTHER excerpt :) Enjoy!
© Copyright 2012 Ally Blue
One juicy mystery, mustard and relish included
Three years after solving the hundred-year-old murder case that brought them together, Greg Woodhall and Adrian Broussard have settled into life together in the colorful college town of Chapel Hill. Adrian’s doctorate research and Greg’s two jobs keep them busy, but they have each other and life is good.
When Greg is offered the chance to help Bay City Paranormal scope out the historic PlayMakers Theater’s rumored spirits, he’s excited to get involved—at first. But as the protoplasmic trail unexpectedly shifts to DogOpolis, where Greg works part time, he senses something in the air besides the mouthwatering aroma of gourmet hot dogs.
There’s an entity that the team can’t quite get a handle on, but it’s creating havoc in Greg’s relationship with Adrian. Things that leave him doubting his own sanity. When the team finally uncovers the truth, no one is prepared for the danger—or what they’ll have to do to stop the thing plaguing DogO before it stops them. Permanently.
[Warning: This book contains a spooky mystery, unusual hot dog toppings, and a fast food joint that may or may not be haunted. May cause random hot dog cravings.]
Unfortunately—to Greg’s mind, at least—BCPI had to do their investigating during the day, since the Carolina PlayMakers took the place over from late afternoon until well after midnight most days, between actors, costuming, the tech people and the stage crew. Not that nighttime would’ve been any better for Greg, since he could hardly play ghost hunter all night then spend the better part of the day at DogO without nodding off and accidentally deep-frying his hand or something, but still. Keeping his attention on his work took every bit of self-control he had, when all he could think about was infrared cameras and EMF detectors and all the cool ghosts the team had probably spotted while he was stuck here slinging wieners and chips.
He tried not to let himself consider the shadows, the weird noises and the occasional unexplained touches he’d experienced right here at DogO. That was nothing but his imagination. It had to be.
“It’s not fair,” he complained to Mal on day two while they worked hot dog assembly. “Adrian gets to go.”
“God, you’re right. So unfair.” Mal squirted mustard on two dogs and slid them to Greg for relish and sauerkraut. “They really ought to appreciate how your acting skill could contribute to the investigation.”
Greg rolled his eyes. “Shut up.” He reached a gloved hand into the relish bin and sprinkled a generous helping on both wieners.
Unsurprisingly, Mal didn’t shut up. “And your hot dog assembly skills? Don’t even get me started.” He plucked two more paper hot dog trays out of the holder and laid them out on the assembly board. “Those bastards. You should call the ACLU or something, man.”
Laughing, Greg whipped a long strand of sauerkraut at Mal. “Jesus, shut up, asshole. I get your point, I’m being stupid.” Something tugged at his hair. He glanced over his shoulder. Len stood at the frying station, too far away to have touched him. She didn’t turn to look at him.
He frowned. It was a draft from the air-conditioning. That’s all.
Mal was still talking, oblivious. “Don’t forget about your constant complaining. This is like the fourth time today you’ve bitched about being left out of the damned investigation. And I get to hear it here and at the PlayMakers. That’s fun.”
Greg shot him a dark look. “Yeah. I got it. Thanks.” He piled sauerkraut on the two hot dogs then set them on the order shelf for the workers out front. “Denise! Order up.”
She turned around and peered through the opening, her face set in a scowl. “You guys keep it down, the customers might hear you.”
“Sorry, D. We’ll be quieter.” Malachi smiled, all big soulful eyes and sincerity.
Denise blinked and looked away, like she always did when Mal paid attention to her. “Well. Good. Thanks.” She took her order and went back to work, her cheeks distinctly pink.
As soon as she was out of earshot, Greg dug an elbow into Mal’s ribs, almost making him drop the wiener he’d just plucked from the warming oven. “You shouldn’t play with her like that. It’s mean.”
“C’mon, you know I need validation. Besides, she’s the one with a boyfriend. I’m single.” Mal settled the tofu wiener into a bun and reached the tongs into the oven for an all-beef one. “Hey, you know what you should do?”
“About your investigation problem, man. Keep up.” Mal peered at the computerized order screen in front of their workstation. “Steak sauce? Seriously?” He shrugged and poured the required sauce on the tofu dog.
“Gross.” Taking the dog from Mal, Greg loaded it with tomatoes, onions and green olives as specified in the order. Ew. “So, what should I do?”
Mal grinned. “Get ’em to order some DogO delivery for lunch.”
“I don’t see how—” Then Greg did. His eyes widened. “Ooooh. I can deliver it.” He frowned. “Well, then what? It’s not like I can stay there when I’m supposed to be working.”
The look he got suggested that Mal would’ve slapped his forehead if he wouldn’t have had to change his glove afterward. “G. You’re an actor. Audition for the part of ghost-hunting helper, okay? Take the time you have and show them what you can do, and they’ll invite you to help them investigate for real. See?”
It was a tempting idea. A good idea, even. Greg took the next dog and stared at it without seeing it. “But I—”
“You don’t work every day, you know,” Mal interrupted, displaying a previously unknown ability to read Greg’s mind. “Get them to invite you to help investigate on your day off. Good grief, I thought you were smart.” He nudged Greg’s arm. “This one’s coleslaw only. Get with it before Denise decides we need a lecture.”
No one wanted that, least of all Greg. He scooped up coleslaw, spread it on top of the beef wiener and set both hot dogs on the shelf while Mal scooped O chips into a large-size tray. “Order up!” Greg called, setting the chips on the shelf beside the hot dogs.
A touch like an icy finger dragged down the back of his neck. The cold was so intense it burned. He whirled around with a startled yelp.
“Whoa, what the hell?” Mal actually backed up a step, eyes wide. “Greg? What’s wrong?”
Greg darted a hunted look around the kitchen. Like before, nobody was close enough to have touched him.
Except one person.
He eyed Malachi. The man was a well-known practical joker, but this wasn’t his style. Too subtle. Still…
“Mal, did you just touch the back of my neck?”
“No.” Mal studied him as if he might attack any minute. “Are you all right, G?”
Greg thought about that. Really thought about it, for the first time. If DogO was haunted—unlikely as that scenario seemed from the get-go—Adrian would’ve picked up the energy. If the weird shit going on had some ordinary explanation, surely Greg would’ve figured it out by now.
He’d never seriously believed that imagining the things he’d seen and felt and heard lately meant he was cracking up, but hell, he was starting to run out of options.
Except that the back of his neck still stung. Which meant whatever had touched him was real. He didn’t know if that made him feel better or worse.
He plastered on his best fake smile. “Yeah, I’m fine. It must’ve just been a draft or something.”
“Probably so, yeah.” Mal smiled back, though the concerned crease between his eyes stayed put. “We need more hot dog buns. You mind grabbing some?”
Greg stripped off his gloves and dropped them in the trash can on the way to the pantry. He felt Mal’s stare on the back of his skull the whole way. Returning with a bag of buns in hand, he caught Len watching him. She dropped her gaze to the fryer as soon as he looked at her.
He kept his expression neutral. The way he figured it, the only thing worse than having his boss suspect he was losing it would be letting on that he’d noticed.
Sometimes a theater degree came in handy in the real world. This was one of those times.
Written by Ally Blue
Ally is a rich and famous author of hot gay manlove. She travels the world in her private jet, being waited on hand and foot by her team of pretty young men who bring her umbrella drinks and make out for her pleasure . . . Okay, so that's her dream life. Her novels of Manlove & Angst are mostly written in her living room, in between working at the Evil Day Job and doing Mom Stuff. Oh, the glamorous life of an author!
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